Author Interview| @_JulieMHoward writes about women seeking strength, meaning, and renewal #suspense
I love meeting authors and seeing how they tick. I’m a huge mystery/suspense/thriller reader and I couldn’t get enough of Julie Howard’s new release, Wild Crime. So, I begged her for an author interview and after much cajoling, she agreed. Such a lovely woman, I know you’re going to love this. So grab your favorite beverage and join us. Take it away, Julie!
What book do you wish you could have written?
All of them! Really, as soon as I’m in the middle of a good book, I’m struck by this incredible desire to have been the one who wrote it. I’m so incredibly envious of other authors. Right now, I’m reading The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough and The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. Their talent is just so amazing, it’s killing me.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?
John Steinbeck, George Eliot, Ayn Rand, Amy Tan, David Mitchell, Stephen King, and many others.
Have you always liked to write?
Oh, definitely. I wrote my first “book” when I was 7 and my teacher named me “class author.” I was a newspaper reporter for years and loved writing news stories too. I always loved meeting new people, hearing their stories and then writing them down.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Never give up. If you truly want to be an author, don’t let go of your dream. It’s a tough business, and takes dedication.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I’m a plotter. I outline all my books, which I think a mystery writer needs to do. Otherwise, I’d get lost in the story and not lay out the clues in way the reader can follow. Once my outline is done, I make constant updates as I’m writing. The outline is a guide to steer me in the right direction, but if the characters tell me to do something different, then I obey! But the story always has to have the ending in mind.
Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?
I most often write in a café, with a cup of coffee or tea at my side. I like the chatter of conversation drifting around me as I write. I’ve also gotten ideas for characters or stories from some of the people who come and go.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
My fifth book, House of Seven Spirits, will come out early next year. This is part of my Spirited Quest novella mystery series, and I’m also working on the next one. Another project I’m working on is a short summer mystery for a series my publisher (The Wild Rose Press) is doing. I’ve also started working on another full-length mystery series. So I’m busy!
What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?
I was a newspaper reporter for years. For some reason, I once interviewed to cover opera for a large daily metropolitan paper. Of course, one of the questions I was asked was how I was qualified to write about this subject. I can’t recall what I said, but I was in no way qualified, so I must have told a string of fibs. The interview lasted two hours so I must have been doing okay, but fortunately for me and them, I didn’t get the job.
Have you ever gotten into a fight?
A couple of times when I was in grade school. I was a scrappy kid.
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
Once, I decided to drive on a backroad in the snow. Because the road passed through a teeny town where people lived year-round, I mistakenly thought the road would be passable. I got stuck a few miles from town. There was nothing in the car – shovel or sand – to help get me out. No cell service either. So I went to the back of the car, bent down and dug out of deep snow by hand. Sometimes the best solution is the simplest. I did learn a lesson – never drive in the winter without sand or a shovel. Also, stick to the main roads.
Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?
I love wine, but lately I’ve become enamored of whisky tasting. I’ve never been one to drink mixed cocktails, but a small snifter of whisky on a cold evening – the fireplace lit and warm in the background – is delightful.
What is your biggest fear?
That I won’t live long enough to write all the stories roaming around in my head.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Just one? I have a list of places still to visit. But two places I’d really regret not seeing someday are Morocco and the Philippines.
What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?
I was a complete bookworm, independent and as sassy as I could get away with. My favorite toy was a little stuffed mouse named Ellie that I passed along to my daughter. My little Ellie’s packed away for another generation now.
Thank you, Julie, for joining us. Readers, scroll down to read more about Julie's latest release, Wild Crime.
Title: Wild Crime
Author: Julie Howard
Genre: Mystery. Suspense
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
"I'm a murderer. I'm a murderer. I'm a murderer."
Those three repeated words discovered in an old letter propel Meredith Lowe in a cross-country pursuit to unveil her mother's murky past. Danger stalks Meredith back to Hay City, Idaho as she peels apart the mystery: who is her father, and did her mother kill him? In finding the answer, will a growing love slip through her fingers?
Past merges with the present as the story races to its stunning conclusion.
Her hair fell below her waist, ripped free of its ties and weighed down by the warm, lashing rain. The sky-blue dress, so carefully chosen for this night and tried on so many times in her bedroom, was ruined. One strap had torn from her shoulder and dangled down her back. Mud splattered the hem. Sweet Cantaloupe lipstick, a lovely coral that heightened the green in her eyes, was smeared like a bruise on one cheek. She ran.
The high school gym behind her, decorated in crepe paper and curtains, vibrated with electric guitars and teen-aged hormones. Couples gyrated on the dance floor and then disappeared into dark corners. It was late and the Spring Dance was in full throttle. No one would miss her for hours.
Before her, trees dripped moss, barely visible in the darkness. She envisioned the moss brushing her shoulders, low branches snagging in her hair, the possibility of snakes both at her feet and above; this made her hesitate. It would take one scream, one gasp, and he would find her.
Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime series, and Spirited Quest. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild, editor of the Potato Soup Journal, and founder of the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write. Learn more at juliemhoward.com.
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